Texas High School Banned From Playoffs After Football Player Body Slams Referee

A high school football team from Texas has been banned from the playoffs after one of its players attacked a referee during a game on Thursday night. Edinburg High School senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron slammed into referee Fred Garcia after Garcia announced he has been ejected from the game. Duron is now facing an assault charge.

"The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020," the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District announced Friday as reported by ESPN. "We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community."

The statement went on to say that the district will take "appropriate disciplinary action once we understand the facts and circumstances underlining this incident. The district takes these matters very seriously; however, we cannot comment further on a pending investigation." After Duron attacked Garcia, he was escorted off the field by police officers. It was reported by The Monitor that Duron was not in handcuffs.

"I can't release any information on that and I apologize for that," Edinburg coach JJ Lejia said after the team's win over PSJA. "I hope you understand. I want this (moment) to be about our program and all the other kids we had on the field tonight." The University Interscholastic League also commented on the incident. The group approved the school's response to the situation.

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"We applaud the Edinburg CISD administration for addressing this situation swiftly and taking appropriate action in removing themselves from the playoffs and for dealing with the student involved in the incident," the UIL said in a statement.

Duron is one of the team's best players, tallying 102 tackles and eight sacks. However, this is not the first time something like this has happened to Duron as he was suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 soccer season after a similar incident happened during a match last year against a rival high school.